April is autism acceptance month, and as companies strive to be more diverse, equitable and inclusive, they need to also embrace neurodiversity.
Neurodiversity is a concept where neurological differences are seen as natural brain variations. This includes conditions like autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and more. Research has shown that neurodivergent individuals bring various skills and perspectives to the workplace, including creativity, attention to detail, problem-solving abilities, and a unique way of approaching tasks. Despite the advantages of embracing neurodiversity, it remains an untapped talent pool. Unemployment rates for neurodiverse adults are as high as 30-40%, 3X the rate for those with disabilities. To embrace neurodiversity, companies must recognize differences, make reasonable accommodations, use clear communication styles, and invest in diversity training.
From SAPs Autism at Work Program to Microsofts Neurodiversity Hiring Program, companies worldwide are beginning to understand the competitive advantages of diversity, including neuro. One example of the advantages comes from J.P Morgan’s study on Autism at work, which found that employees with autism were 140% more productive than their counterparts.
If your organization has not included neurodiversity in its DEI initiatives, it’s time to reevaluate.